Greenwich Concours d’ Elegance showcases fast cars

The world’s fastest street-legal car, the 270-mph Hennessey Venom GT will slow down long enough to spend two days at the Greenwich Concours d’ Elegance on Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1 at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park.

It will be joined by the latest version of America’s only flying car, the Terrafugia Transition.

These two extremes of automotive technology will join 250 premium classic automobiles on a verdant peninsula in Greenwich Harbor. The two-day event, now in its 19th year, features American classic cars on Saturday and imported classic models on Sunday. Show-goers can also board Sunseeker Yachts and America’s Cup 12-meter yachts on both days.

And it won’t just be cars on display either. Hersam Acorn Radio will be on hand to broadcast live on Sunday at 1 p.m. You can hear the broadcast at Hanradio.com or Greenwich-post.com.

Each event features some 125 cars and awards trophies for Best-of-Show, Peoples’ Choice and various classes. It’s possible to see classic American Auburns, Cadillacs, Cords, Duesenbergs, Packards and Pierce-Arrows along with Corvettes and 1960’s muscle cars on Saturday, and then Bentley, Ferrari, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce models and many others on Sunday. Classic American and imported motorcycles will be showcased both days.

Featured as the poster car for the 2014 Greenwich Concours, the Fitch Phoenix will be offered for sale in the Bonhams auction on Sunday, June 1st that is part of the Concours event. Among other rare cars to be displayed are a 1914 Detroit Electric Brougham once owned by President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s mother-in-law; a one-of-a-kind 1950 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith; one of the few Russian-made Volgas in the country, and a Glasspar G-2, which preceded the Chevrolet Corvette as one of America’s earliest fiberglass sports cars.

2014 is also the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang and the 100th anniversary of Maserati, and the Greenwich Concours will commemorate the occasion with special displays for both. The Mustang display includes the Shelby GT350R that American racing legend Mark Donohue raced early in his career.

A highlight of the 2014 Greenwich Concours is expected to be the one-of-a-kind 1966 Fitch Phoenix, a sports car designed by one of America’s most celebrated drivers, and World War II fighter pilot, John Fitch (1917-2012). The Greenwich Concours may be the last chance for many to see the dramatic Phoenix, as it will be auctioned off by Bonhams.

In another Greenwich Concours tradition, spectators will be able to check out the latest models from high end makers including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Cadillac, Maserati, Aston Martin, Ferrari, McLaren, Bentley and Volkswagen, the event’s many prestigious sponsors. A special section of classic Cadillacs will celebrate the brand’s history from 1900’s to the glorious postwar tailfin era.

The Terrafugia Flying Car prototype, which made its debut at the 2009 Concours, will also be returning to town. This year, the near-production Terrafugia Transition, the only light-aircraft designed to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, will display its conversion abilities on the Concours show field.

In addition to premium cars, the Greenwich Concours caters to sailing enthusiasts with a showcase of classic racing yachts. Berthed across from the Concours grounds in Greenwich Harbor, the ex-America’s Cup 12-meter yachts America II and Lionheart will be on view for Concours spectators to look over the magnificent vessels. Like the competition cars on display, the racing yachts represent the “pinnacle of their period’s technology for generating speed,” in this case on water.

The Bonhams Auction of rare and important collector cars and automobilia on Sunday, June 1 will allow spectators to view the consigned vehicles on Saturday, included with Concours admission.There are usually another 90-100 classic automobiles to see in the auction tent, many of them rarely seen models from private collections. Admittance to the auction tent on Sunday requires purchase of a catalogue by bidders and spectators.

This year’s charitable beneficiary is international relief organization AmeriCares. Ranked as one of the most efficient charitable organizations in the country, since 1982, AmeriCares has delivered more than $11 billion in aid to help people in 164 countries. The organization responds to humanitarian emergencies including earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes.

The Greenwich Concours Americana and the Concours International are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. The admission is $30 per day, or $45 for a two-day pass. Children 12 years old and under attend free, when accompanied by an adult. Parking is free of charge, and food service is available on site. The event will be held rain or shine.

For more information and driving directions, visit Greenwichconcours.com.

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